To single source or not to single source, that’s always the question. Many distributors may find themselves given the choice of bundling paperboard products with a single company versus a series of regional sources. So, what are the benefits of the single-source model?
When dealing with a single supplier for your paperboard packaging needs, there’s going to be less work involved in qualifying sources, which means less administrative work and fewer games of telephone to work out quotes and capabilities.
Chad Kravick, Vice President of Sales at Badger Paperboard, knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the quoting process.
“My biggest pet peeve when I was looking for packaging solutions in prior positions was I’d have to call back my distributor or manufacturing reps three, four days after requesting a quote to follow-up,” he says. “That’s why at Badger, we try to turn a quote in under an hour, when possible.”
Partnerships between distributors and a single supplier allow for more cooperation and stronger relationships based on ongoing trust.
“For us,” says Kara Smiley, Sales Representative at Badger Paperboard, “being small is an advantage. Every time you call, you’re going to get an actual person.”
Companies that rely on these relationships are more likely to put their customers’ needs first. “The big question we ask our distributors is ‘How can we make it as easy as possible to work with us?’ That’s one of the things we pride ourselves in: making it easy to work with us,” says Kara.
National suppliers can provide faster shipping from strategically located facilities across the country. Bundling all of your paperboard products with a single company means both time and money savings.
While there are many small, regional packaging companies out there, Badger Paperboard’s national footprint makes it easier for distributors to rely on their services.
Chad says that distributors working with Badger “know that no matter where they go, they can rely on us, no matter where they are in the country. Our customers can deal with just one company for packaging, instead of eight regional individual ones. That’s a big thing.”
Managing and consolidating suppliers can be critical to maximizing cost savings. Working with a single source means that distributors have the power of bulk ordering and quantity on their side. When discussing price, delivery and production costs, this can be leveraged for greater advantage.
Also keep in mind that by streamlining your processes, you will reduce administrative overhead. A single supplier, dedicated to your business’s ongoing success, can also result in higher quality.
When developing an ongoing partnership with a single manufacturer, you also reduce the risk of opportunistic behavior. Multiple providers will not be able to offer the kind of cost savings that a single provider can. These types of suppliers are also less likely to work with a one-off customer than one they are developing a strong relationship with for a variety of paperboard products.
“I know there’s a lot of competition in the industry,” says Chad, “and our customers have to be very aggressive and on top of their game. You must be very responsive. Otherwise, you’re not going to make it. We have to be exactly the same